India picked their 30-man preliminary squad for the 2015 ICC World Cup, to be played in Australia and New Zealand, last week. Among the spinners that were picked in the squad, Harbhajan Singh’s and Pragyan Ojha’s names were both not present. The Initial reason sighted for their omission was the lack of form shown by the two bowlers in domestic cricket.
However, according to a report in the Indian Express, the technical committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) had cautioned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that both the spinners would be scrutinized closely for their respective bowling actions if they were selected to play international cricket again.
Both the bowlers haven’t been regular members in the Indian set-up for quite some time now. Harbhajan last played a Test for his country in March 2013 while Ojha’s last appearance was in November 2013, during Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series.
There has been a serious crackdown by the ICC on bowlers with suspect actions in recent times. Saeed Ajmal, who was banned from bowling in September after all his deliveries were found to be illegal, is just one of a number of bowlers to have borne the brunt of ICC’s strict measures.
Harbhajan had earlier said that he would be forced to take legal action against Australian umpire Darrell Hair for questioning the legality of the 34-year-old’s action.
"I have no time for Darrell Hair's nonsense. Who the hell is he? Is he bigger than the ICC? But if he tries to damage my reputation or belittle my achievements as an international cricketer with another provocative comment, I will be speaking to BCCI and seek legal action against Hair," he had said.
Pragyan Ojha’s action had also come under fire recently after former umpire AV Jayaprakash divulged that he was reported for a suspect action in domestic cricket last year. There has been a change in his action since then, and he was seen bowling with short sleeves during the Duleep Trophy final against Central Zone last month.Published 09 Dec 2014, 16:35 IST